Canonical have made available the latest update to the popular Linux-based Ubuntu operating system. The release is part of the company's regular 6-month release cycle and is code-named Oneiric Ocelot.
On the desktop, users will undoubtedly notice the huge swathe of improvements made to the Unity interface that was introduced in the previous release and is now mandatory (previously Gnome was still installed as an option). A number of key applications have also had a bit of an overhaul, most noticeably Gwibber, the social network client. Thunderbird is now the default mail client, and login is now handled by LightDM.
From a technical point of view, Ubuntu now uses the Linux kernel v3 which was recently made available. There is also a new developer website for people looking to build applications for Ubuntu, documenting specific APIs and how to get your applications listed on the Ubuntu Software Center, an app store for desktop apps on the OS. Despite the infancy of the effort, the website is surprisingly well filled out with content.
Users with Ubuntu already installed will be prompted if they want to upgrade. It is also available from the Ubuntu website. The next version of Ubuntu is due in April, which is a long-term support release.